Coral Gardens and Their Magic

date of publication:  1935
main subject:  ethnography

Coral Gardens and Their Magic, properly Coral Gardens and Their Magic Volume I: A Study of the Methods of Tilling the Soil and of Agricultural Rites in the Trobriand Islands and Coral Gardens and Their Magic Volume II: The Language of Magic and Gardening, is the final two-volume book in anthropologist Bronisław Malinowski's ethnographic trilogy on the lives of the Trobriand Islanders. It concentrates on the cultivation practices the Trobriand Islanders used to grow yams, taro, bananas and palms which Malinowski's more famous ethnography Argonauts of the Western Pacific briefly mentioned in passing. It describes the gardens in which the Trobrianders grew food as more than merely utilitarian spaces, even as works of art. In 1988 Alfred Gell called the book "still the best account of any primitive technological-cum-magical system, and unlikely ever to be superseded in this respect". The book has been described as Malinowski's magnum opus. Source: Wikipedia (en)

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